Pennsylvania Legislators Hear Prof’s Testimony on Violent Video Game Research

Earlier this month, GamePolitics covered a hearing on violent video games held by the Children and Youth Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

As we reported, Prof. Patrick Markey of Villanova University testified at length before the committee on what research says about the relationship between video game and real-world violence.

Markey, who has studied topics such as whether the Wii’s motion control system enhances any negative effects of violent video games (Markey says no), also took time to explain to the committee the difference between causation and correlation.

While Markey adopts a researcher’s neutral posture on the game violence topic, he seemed – at least in GP’s observation – to be the recipient of a bit of political venting by some members of the committee. That is probably explained by the fact that  no one from the video game industry appeared at the hearing. ESA VP Sally Jefferson mailed in her written testimony.

GP previously posted a different video clip from the hearing (see: Pennsylvania Legislators Ponder Violent Game Tax) shot from a digital camera. The higher-quality video of Markey’s testimony was taken by the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Due to YouTube length limits, the Markey segments are spread over three video clips:

Markey Testimony, Part 2

Markey Testimony, Part 3

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Mattsworkname says:

    That was interesting. I have to comend Prof. Patrick Markey for his honest and direct information. Alslo ,i’d like to commend the other two members of the panel, Rep. Cox and the older woman, for showing some level headed and intelligent thought on the matter, and for showing themselves to be open minded.

    To the last gentleman, I have the following, as jon stewart said.

    "FUCK YOU"

    The fact that he brought up all the normal game critic talking points, I.E "Cop murder", "Woman beating", "Militart training", showed that he had no intention of having an open minded discussion on the matter. he tried to hide it by claiming that "We don’t want to tear the industry down" But then immediatly started trying to do just that.

    This is why the industry needs to be more up front and direct in there opposistionm, someone from the ESA should have BEEN then to shut that idiot up. 25 to life was NOT pulled. The military trainers are used for vehcile training and Squad Tactics trainging.  

    This is why I have such isssues with the ESA. They waste so much time on there almost BOGUS piracy crusade, but let shit like this slide? Pathetic. I hope the ECA starts advancing to fill the void the ESA seems to have left.


    Yukimura is still here.

    "Well done Yukimura. You are japans greatest hero. Now, the chaos ends." Spoken by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Yukimura sanada just moments before Yukimuras death in Samurai warriors 1.

  2. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    That is right.

    When the truth is there in front of them, some politicians don’t like it.

    One politician says it’s black while the other says it’s white.

    And in the end we are only voting between a duche and a turd.

    This is madness, this is blastfomy.




  3. 0
    SS says:

    .17 is a really really tiny correlation.

    seems the politicians are really getting their panties in a bunch over the game violence issue, for votes it seems.

    plus its short term, so doesn’t mean much.

    i would bet playing football would also have a tiny correlation with aggresiveness if they played a hour before.



  4. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Too add to this post, Villanova University is in Philadelphia.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(0-3), LSU(3-0)

  5. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    I guess what this guy is really saying, is that Violent Videogames only cause a small ammount of agression, but it does not go as far as turning a normal kid into a murderer.

    There are so many other factors that we as a society may never really fully understand or even have any real control over.

    But did any politician listen to him?

    Not really.


    Politicians want answers to help them to win votes that make them look good, and sadly when the truth is revealed to them, they can’t handle the truth.



  6. 0 says:

    From someone that works in DC politics, you can take it from me that this is very commonplace and not out of the ordinary.

    Remember that Villanova University is in PA.  This was a local professor testifying to a local state issue.  

    ESA is a national organization.  If this was a federal level committee hearing they would have appeared in person.  But for a state issue, a national organization delivering written testimony only is the norm. 

    Additionally, remember that ESA isn’t a 501(c)3.  They represent their members who pay to be members.  If their members want them to start appearing at local state level committee hearings they will.

  7. 0
    axiomatic says:

    "ESA VP Sally Jefferson mailed in her written testimony."

    So this researcher goes out of his way to explain the science of games and violence and no one from the ESA could be bothered to show up? I will hold back on any criticisim but isn’t this one of the things that the ESA is supposed to "take seriously?" Prof. Patrick Markey is a hero for flying solo in front of a legislative panel.

  8. 0 says:

    See how legislators work? They would have ingored his entire testimony and concluded that video games cause violence in the home if he had in any way, shape, or form slipped up at the end of the first vid and said that there was some similarity between other types of violence in the home and video game violence influencing children.

    You’ll also want to note that the legislator kept using socialist terminology.  "We have decided what is best for the children because they are impressionable."  "As a community we decide what is right and wrong for them." Etc.  There’s no understanding of personal responsibility and understanding that the parents are responsible for their kids and determining when certain content is appropriate for their own flesh and blood.  There is this notion that the state somehow has ownership of the children.  Very Orwellian…


  9. 0
    Larington says:

    Interesting stuff. I kind of wished he’d talked about how the control systems for a game (Gamepad/Keyboard&Mouse) distance the player from the action and also that the violent crime rate from youngsters has been falling steadily for the past many years but there was some very good commentary there from the University professor.

Leave a Reply